Bold Colors, Big Flavors, and Summer Fun

Summer has arrived and most of us are planning picnics, cookouts, and at-home summer entertaining. Instead of cooking the typical cookout menu of burgers, hotdogs, and potato salad, we’ve come up with a few recipes that speak to summer’s bold, hot style with elevated flavors and vivid colors to match.

Setting the Scene

String some lights on the patio to give a soft glow as the sun goes down. Create a table scape with summer colors including coral reds, bright pinks, creamy whites, lime greens, and even cornflower blues. You can bring the colors inside, too. Reflect nature in your kitchen colors with a vase full of summer flowers. Putting together several colors of roses or poppies with golden coneflowers, deep pink dahlias, and blue bachelor’s buttons (also called cornflowers) make a vibrant, stunning floral display. As for the vase, clear crystal is always a favorite, but you can get colorful with a ceramic vase with a print that pulls in all the colors.

Summer entertaining is always casual and laidback, so don’t feel like you have to be too fussy with your table settings. For your tableware, plain white plates with bandana or gingham print napkins are simple and fun. Get more creative with cobalt blue glass plates or goblets and colorful highball glasses for tall drinks. Set up a serve-yourself buffet or bring out colorful bowls and platters on the main table to serve your meal family style. Set your main dish on a cake plate so that it’s elevated above your sides. Then, Include some of your colorful floral stems to add as accents in small bud vases or round rose bowls.

Create a Festive Playlist

Using your favorite music app, create a playlist for your guests that includes songs that set a summer mood. “Summer Breeze,” “California Girls,” and “Walking on Sunshine” are fun songs that almost everyone knows. You can search Google to find ready-made playlists full of songs (or just ideas) for your background music. Or ask guests for a favorite song for you to include.

Festive Foods & Drinks

Our menu begins with delicious air-fried shrimp tacos with cotija cheese on corn tortillas. They’re delicious and gorgeous to look at. Golden shrimp cooks up crispy in your Café range or wall oven using the air fry setting or Café Couture™ Oven with air fry. For a colorful, flavorful dessert, try our red and blue berry tart with almond crust. It captures some deep, gorgeous berry colors along with a burst of fresh berry flavor that’s like summer on your tongue.

Chilled drinks are always a favorite for summer entertaining and we’ve captured some tempting flavors in our two drink recipes. Bright, luscious hibiscus margaritas look festive and taste delectable. For those who prefer a little caffeine kick, we offer a creamy iced white chocolate mocha drink.

Late Night Views

Make sure you have plenty of comfy seating and backyard games like bocce for guests to move around between meal courses. Having extra cushions, pillows, and throw blankets in festive summer colors and prints allow guests to get comfortable and stretch out for a relaxed, homey evening together under the stars.

Air Fried Shrimp Tacos

Air Fried Shrimp Tacos

Cook Time 15 min | 4 Servings


1 pound jumbo shrimp
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Slaw Ingredients

2-3 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
1 cup creamy jalapeño sauce

For Serving

Corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Chopped cilantro
Cotija cheese

How to make it

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, oil, honey, salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, pepper, and cayenne. Toss well.

Place the shrimp in a single layer in the Couture air fry basket.

Air fry at 400 for 6-7 minutes, or until the shrimp reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

While the shrimp cooks, toss the cabbage with creamy jalapeño sauce. Assemble the tacos and enjoy.

Hibiscus Margaritas

Hibiscus Margaritas

Cook Time 45 min | 2 Servings

Hibiscus Tea Concentrate Ingredients

3 cups water
4-6 hibiscus tea bags
¼ cup agave nectar

Margaritas Ingredients

½ cup hibiscus tea concentrate
3 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces silver tequila
½ ounce agave nectar

How to make it

To make the hibiscus tea concentrate, bring 3 cups water to a boil, add hibiscus tea, stir, remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

Strain into a jar and add agave to taste.
To make margaritas, add ice, cooled hibiscus tea concentrate, lime juice, tequila and agave nectar to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to combine.

Pour over two glasses filled with ice and rimmed with sugar. Garnish with lime wedge.

Chef's Notes

The hibiscus concentrate can be stored in a closed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Red & Blue Berry Tart with Almond Crust

Red & Blue Berry Tart with Almond Crust

Cook Time 1 hour 30 min | 6-8 Servings

Crust Ingredients

1 cup almond flour
½ cup cornstarch
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¾ teaspoon almond extract

Tart Ingredients

⅓ cup (2 ounces) white baking chips
¼ cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated lime zest plus 7 teaspoons juice (2 limes)
Pinch salt
6 ounces (3/4 cup) mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4-6 large strawberries
20 ounces (4 cups) raspberries and blueberries
⅓ cup apricot preserves

How to make it

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine almond flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in bowl with a whisk. Add melted butter and almond extract and stir with wooden spoon until uniform dough forms. Crumble two-thirds of mixture over bottom of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press dough to even thickness in bottom of pan. Crumble the rest of the dough and scatter evenly around edge of pan. Press crumbled dough into sides of pan. Press to even thickness. Place pan on rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

Combine the baking chips, cream, lime zest, and salt in medium bowl. Carefully melt in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds, until everything is melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Whisk in one-third of mascarpone, then whisk in 6 teaspoons lime juice and remaining mascarpone until smooth. Transfer filling to tart shell and spread into even layer.

Evenly space a ring of blueberries around the outer edge of tart. Place a second ring of raspberries inside the tart. Fan a ring of sliced strawberries around the tart as the 3rd ring. Continue with a ring of raspberries then fill center of tart with remaining blueberries and a few raspberries as final garnish. The end result will be alternating red and blue berries in attractive pattern.

Microwave the apricot preserves and remaining 1 teaspoon lime juice in small bowl for 20 to 30 seconds. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer. Using pastry brush, gently brush the mixture over fruit, avoiding crust. Refrigerate tart for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Remove outer metal ring of tart pan. Slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom to loosen tart, then carefully slide tart onto serving platter. Let tart sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Using peaches as guide, cut tart into wedges and serve. (Tart can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. If refrigerated for more than 1 hour, let tart sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.)

Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Cook Time 5 min | 1 Serving


1-2 tablespoons white chocolate syrup
2 shots espresso
Whole milk
Whipped Cream for Topping


How to make it

Add white chocolate sauce and espresso to a tall glass. Stir to combine.

Fill the glass with ice. Pour milk over the ice and stir to combine.

Top with whipped cream and additional white chocolate sauce.